By: Rachel In an uncertain economy, all professionals are keen on doing what they can to secure their jobs. Jenny Schade, a communications strategist, moderated a recent webinar that outlined how to “bulletproof your career.” Below are her tips and mine for getting ahead in PR and staying there.
First, determine if you are in the right professional field for you. Industries constantly change, as we've seen with the introduction of digital and social media in the PR industry. If you're not committed to the industry and not willing to adapt, it might be time to change your career path.
Whether you're looking to start a new job or just hoping to secure your current position, you must identify your value. Figure out how the activities you do each day add value to your company or your clients.
Remember that you're not just an employee. Really, you are an expert who adds irreplaceable value and you should market yourself accordingly. As PR professionals, we've built careers around marketing our clients or our companies; don't forget about you. By doing your own PR, you'll be able to attract opportunities to you instead of searching for them.
Step outside of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to accomplish new goals in different expertise areas. Going above and beyond your job description is always noticed and appreciated, but hiring executives look for candidates with broad experiences. As companies go lean, employees are commonly responsible for more than one position, and people who have broad experience will be the ones to win (or keep) the jobs.
Following on the last point, make sure you have a strong foundation of the skills required in your industry. For communications and PR positions, solid writing abilities are the basis for just about every job task, and demonstrating your skills is a necessity.
Finally, be a “change agent.” Seek out new technology and embrace it. Look for ways to improve processes with technology and present it to management. The industry is always evolving, and companies want to be at the forefront of new technology.
Walking through each of these steps while evaluating your career and continuing to develop professionally will make you a PR superstar.
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